Kids & Family

A community of advocates linked by autism and bound by strength.



With guest Robin Hammond of Southern Hospitality Etiquette



In the 1950s, manners were taught to all children. Because of the structured ways that manners were taught and the expectation that everyone would learn them, it helped many children who were socially awkward to adapt. I want to read you a quote from our beloved Temple Grandin: “It is acceptable to be eccentric, but being rude, unkind, or not knowing how to interact with others at the basic level of “please,” “thank you,” or “excuse me” is never acceptable. Manners help people exist together and get along with each other. They will open doors that will give you a chance to express yourself, be yourself, and achieve your goals and dreams. I know from experience that this is possible. Just keep learning and trying!”


Today’s guest is Robin Hammond, the owner of Southern Hospitality in Kentucky.  She specializes in teaching children and adults, through etiquette classes, how to become confident, self-assured, and influential leaders in the community. Robin also became an official Autism-Friendly Certified Business. Please join me in a warm welcome.



In many of her writings and face-to-face presentations, Temple Grandin repeatedly stresses one thing: autism is not an excuse for bad behavior. In a great book with a forward by Temple, they give tips for teaching manners to children with autism. The top ones are: 1. Model the good manners you are trying to teach your child. 2. Use video modeling and media as tools. Even animated characters can have good manners. 3. Define the manner in a way that is meaningful for the child. Explain to them that they are rules. Some kids don’t care or understand the “why it’s important to others”. And 4. Consider using visuals and nonverbal prompts so the child can learn to use manners independently.

All in all, no matter where we call home, the basic social manners of “please,” “thank you,” or excuse me” are a universal language. As Temple says, “Just keep learning and trying.” Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see you next week!



There are a few things southerners take seriously: college football, anything fried, and manners. As southern children, we are taught early on the value of writing thank-you notes, saying “please” and “thank you”, and understanding the important of proper etiquette in every situation.

Play Now

EPISODE 29: Friendly Robot Helps Children with Autism

With Dr. Greg Firn, COO, RoboKind



Many children and adults on the autism spectrum need help in learning how to act in different types of social situations. They often have the desire to interact with others, but may not know how to engage friends or may be overwhelmed by the idea of new experiences.


Today’s guest is Dr. Greg Firn, the Chief Operating Officer for RoboKind. The focus at RoboKind has been to help children with autism learn critical social and behavioral skills and achieve academic success by way of purpose-built humanoid robots that deliver developmental instruction modules that teach critical functional skills. This comprehensive intervention program is called Robots4Autism. Greg’s deep experience and passion for helping under-served children has been instrumental in helping RoboKind develop the products and strategies that will successfully serve the K-12 education market.



All students, regardless of their background or ability, should be given the opportunity to realize their full potential. The future is interactive education, and thanks to our friends at RoboKind, we are on our way to engaging, enhancing, and enriching students with diverse and inclusive education. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe. Keep up the great work, and I’ll see you next week!



Robots4Autism is a comprehensive intervention program that uses purpose-built humanoid robots to deliver developmental instruction modules that teach critical functional skills.

  • The curriculum uses proven best practices for teaching social and behavioral skills.
  • The robot, Milo, creates a high-level of engagement between the student and the robot.
  • Unlimited repetition of lessons that are 100% consistent.
  • Data provided to document and direct student progress.


Positive Student Outcomes – Learners with ASD using the Robots4Autism curriculum show observable increases in engagement: eye contact, body language and friendliness. Working with Milo, learners act more appropriately in social situations, self-motivate, self-regulate, and generalize in the population.



  1. Behavior – Rapid decreases in disruptions and meltdowns; increases in ability to concentrate. Due to Calm Down modules and acceptance of Milo as a friend.
  2. Emotional Understanding – Increased understanding of human emotions and their meanings creates a willingness to look at humans directly in their face. Creates confidence and willingness to engage in social situations.
  3. Vocabulary – Dramatic increases in verbalization and attempts to use language and expand vocabulary.
  4. Home – Changes in behavior and interaction at home and a recognition by parents that things have improved.
  5. School – Ability to function in school translates into rapid academic progress. These life-changing benefits often occur after only 1-4 months of interaction with Milo. 







Play Now


Featuring Joyce Peet, OT



Sometimes it’s easy to get mentally stuck in a place of despair when caring for a loved one on the autism spectrum. All of the therapy appointments, advocating and temporary setbacks can be overwhelming and discouraging. I always think it’s important, however, to focus on the stories of success. The stories that give hope and encouragement. Everyone needs this, right?


Today’s guest has many years of experience in providing care for those on the spectrum, and she has many stories that I believe will inspire us all to keep going. Joyce Peet is an occupational therapist, and she has been providing therapy for my son for the past two years. I’ve seen the progress that my son has made, and I’ve often relied on her to provide me direction on the best ways to set goals for social interaction, behavior and classroom performance for Alex. Let’s all give a warm welcome.



Occupational therapists are experts in the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness. This knowledge helps them promote skills for independent living in people with autism and other developmental disorders. They are often a very critical piece in a developmental therapy program. But aside from all of the text book knowledge and individualized therapy plans, they are a witness to the incredible lives of those on the spectrum. From beginning to end, they see it all, and are inspired to make a difference in the lives of others. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see you next week!

Play Now